Janis Joplin Me and Bobby McGee

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Janis Joplin Me and Bobby McGee

Janis Joplin Me and Bobby McGee

Blues Rock

This song about love on the road and love lost “up near Salinas” was written by singer, songwriter, musician, and actor Kris Kristofferson and songwriter/record producer Fred Foster. Roger Miller was the original recording artist for “Me and Bobby McGee,” and he had a hit with it in 1969 when it went to #12 on the U.S. Country chart. In the original version, Bobby McGee is a woman.  Gordon Lightfoot did a cover of it in 1970, and it went to #1 in his native Canada.  Janis Joplin, who was a close friend of Kristofferson, liked the song, changed Bobby McGee into a man, and added her own special ending. She included it on her 1970 album Pearl.  Joplin died in October of 1970. By 1971, her version of “Me and Bobby MGee” rose up the charts to #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.

The song has been covered by numerous artists, including Kenny Rogers & The First Edition, The Statler Brothers, Kris Kristofferson, Bill Haley & His Comets, Sam the Sham, Jerry Lee Lewis, Dottie West, The Grateful Dead, Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash, Jeannie C. Riley, Waylon Jennings, Chet Atkins, Olivia Newton-John, Lonnie Donegan, Joan Baez, Melissa Etheridge, and Jennifer Love Hewitt, among many others.

Joplin was born in Port Arthur, Texas, in 1943. She moved to San Francisco in 1966 and then joined Big Brother & The Holding Company. She left to pursue a solo career in 1968. She died of a heroin overdose in 1970 at the age of 27.

Here are the lyrics to “Me and Bobby McGee” by Janis Joplin:

Busted flat in Baton Rouge, waitin’ for a train
And I’s feelin’ near as faded as my jeans
Bobby thumbed a diesel down, just before it rained
It rode us all the way to New Orleans

I pulled my harpoon out of my dirty red bandanna
I was playin’ soft while Bobby sang the blues, yeah
Windshield wipers slappin’ time, I was holdin’ Bobby’s hand in mine
We sang every song that driver knew

Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose
Nothin’, don’t mean nothin’ hon’ if it ain’t free, no no
And, feelin’ good was easy, Lord, when he sang the blues
You know, feelin’ good was good enough for me
Good enough for me and my Bobby McGee

From the Kentucky coal mine to the California sun
There Bobby shared the secrets of my soul
Through all kinds of weather, through everything we done
Yeah, Bobby baby kept me from the cold

One day up near Salinas, Lord, I let him slip away
He’s lookin’ for that home, and I hope he finds it
But I’d trade all of my tomorrows, for a single yesterday
To be holdin’ Bobby’s body next to mine

Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose
Nothin’, that’s all that Bobby left me, yeah
But,feelin’ good was easy, Lord, when he sang the blues
Hey, feelin’ good was good enough for me, mm-hmm
Good enough for me and my Bobby McGee

La da da
La da da da
La da da da da da da da
La da da da da da da da
Bobby McGee, yeah

La da da da da da da
La da da da da da da
La da da da da da da
Bobby McGhee, yeah

La da La la da da la da da la da da
La da da da da da da da da
Hey, my Bobby
Oh, my Bobby McGee, yeah

La la la la la la la la
La la la la la la la la la la la la la la la
Hey, my Bobby
Oh, my Bobby McGee, yeah

Well, I call him my lover, call him my man
I said, I call him my lover did the best I can, c’mon
Hey now, Bobby now
Hey now, Bobby McGee, yeah

Woo
La da, la da, la da, la da, la da, la da, la da, la la
Hey, hey, hey Bobby McGee, yeah
La da, la da, la da, la da, la da, la da, la da, la
Hey, hey, hey, Bobby McGee, yeah

For other songs by Janis Joplin: “Piece of My Heart” and “Mercedes Benz.”

Check Out The Groove Pad for More 1960s Music

The Pass the Paisley Groove Pad is a resting stop, a place to chill out and listen to the featured song on the stereo. If the mood strikes you, click on the juke box to access and listen to the 50+ free online songs there. The TV has several channels, with selections updated twice a week. Every now and then, Pass the Paisley hosts an all-request of 1960s and 1970s songs for a Be-In at the juke box in the Groove Pad. Keep on truckin’. Hope you enjoyed “Me and Bobby McGee” by Janis Joplin.

2 Comments

  1. […] If you are interested in reading about and listening to other songs by Janis Joplin: “Mercedes Benz” and “Me and Bobby McGee.” […]

  2. […] If you would like to read about and listen to other songs by Janis Joplin, please click here for “A Piece of My Heart” and “Me and Bobby McGee.” […]

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